Umaga praises Brisbane 10s champions

Umaga praises Brisbane 10s champions

Head coach Tana Umaga was delighted with the contribution of his young players, and how the experienced players stood up in claiming the Brisbane Global Tens title.

The Blues came from behind with two tries in the final three minutes to grab a 10-7 win over the Hurricanes on a wet second day of the tournament.

The Blues trailled 7-0 until All Blacks Akira Ioane and George Moala made their mark. Ioane scored to close the gap before Moala produced a solo effort to force his way over with time up on the clock.

It is the second major Tens tournament that the club has won, after claiming the World Club Tens in Singapore in 2014.

Blues teenager Caleb Clarke was named player of the tournament and was top try scorer with five over the two days.

Umaga was especially pleased with the efforts of a number of players who have been replacements at the club, covering early season for the All Blacks and also injuries.

“Some guys have been with us for two months, some two weeks, but they showed some real resilience to combine together.

“The result is great, but some of the off-field stuff, and learning to follow through and win those critical moments was really pleasing for us this weekend.”

The coach was also pleased with the contribution of former Blues great, Carlos Spencer who was the wildcard player in Brisbane.

“Just having him around was great for our guys. He’s somebody who is revered in our club, so just that and some of the little bits he’s been passing onto our guys at training and he’s carrying back, and doing that kind of job.

“He always seems to have a knack of winning whenever he’s involved, so I’m sure the boys have taken something from him.”

The Blues now quickly turn their attention back to Super Rugby and the final pre-season match against the Hurricanes at the Mahurangi Rugby Club, Warkworth A&P Showgrounds on Thursday with kick off at 4pm.

“The win is good for this group. Now we take those learnings and get back to business for this week which is our last hit out before the Super Rugby season gets underway.”

Blues results:

Blues 29 (Tamati Tua, Caleb Clarke, Dalton Papalii, Melanai Nanai (2) tries; Jonathan Ruru 2 Cons) Queensland Reds 7

Blues 47 (Dalton Papalii, George Moala, Jordan Trainor, Kurt Eckund, Tamua Manu, Mike Tamoaeita, Caleb Clarke tries; Clarke 6 cons) Wild Knights (Japan) 10

Blues 29 (Caleb Clarke 3, Jordan Olsen, Tanielu Telea tries; Sam Nock 1 con, Jonathan Ruru 1 con). Melbourne Rebels 7

Semifinal: Blues 22 (Dalton Papalii 2, Kurt Ecklund, Jordan Olsen tries; Jonathan Ruru 1 con) Queensland Reds 10

Final: Blues 10 (Akira Ioane, George Moala tries) Hurricanes 7